|Publication number||US6112761 A|
|Application number||US 09/440,182|
|Publication date||Sep 5, 2000|
|Filing date||Nov 15, 1999|
|Priority date||Nov 15, 1999|
|Publication number||09440182, 440182, US 6112761 A, US 6112761A, US-A-6112761, US6112761 A, US6112761A|
|Original Assignee||Scotto; Gary|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (20), Referenced by (28), Classifications (20), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
Research and development of the present invention and application have not been Federally sponsored, and no rights are given under any Federal program.
1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates to a fire hydrant locking device which is easy to install and very effective.
2. Description of the Realted Art Including Information Disclosed Under 37 CFR §§1.97-1.98
The unauthorized use of fire hydrants constitutes a great fire risk to dwellings and businesses due to low pressure in the system. There is also a waste of water which is costly and a severe problem during droughts. Another problem is the theft of water from fire hydrants for sale or recreational uses. It is therefore important to develop a locking device for fire hydrants which prevents unauthorized use of fire hydrants. Indeed a considerable body of prior art attempts to address this problem but the problem still exists and this invention is designed to provide a satisfactory cost saving solution.
The prior art includes U.S. Pat. No. 5,722,450 to JULICHER which relates to a tamper resistant construction for hydrants employing a shroud rotatably mounted on an end portion of the hydrant nut actuating body. In another approach, U.S. Pat. No. 5,588,460 to MENESES discloses an internally threaded tubular shield about the valve stem and a wrench having a pentagonal tubular socket to fit the keyway and the valve stem.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,549,133 to SIGELAKIS discloses a security device clamped between an outlet port of the hydrant and a cap for covering the outlet port while U.S. Pat. No. 5,520,210 to BARTON discloses a protective shield for a fire hydrant operating stem. The shield includes an inner ring with a peripheral groove which carries a snap ring. A standard authorized tool may be used in connection with the device.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,469,724 to POLLARD appears to be a standard locking device enclosing the operating nut of the hydrant. U.S. Pat. No. 5,383,495 to KENNEDY discloses a security hydrant cap having a domed body adapted to be removed only with a specialized tool and a surrounding slip ring substantially over the body. U.S. Pat. No. 4,033,501 to STEHLING discloses a fire hydrant cap and actuating tool which includes a gripper which fits under a slip ring to prevent the tool from slipping a spanner wrench and a hexagonal socket with a screw for gripping rounded off valve stems.
None of the above patents disclose the advantageous locking system proposed by applicant for fire hydrants. The considerable number of recent patents shows the interest and need in this area which the present invention is designed to meet.
This invention relates to a fire hydrant locking system including a cap and stem locking device to deter unauthorized use of fire hydrants. A clamp having butterfly wings including an aperture in each wing are mounted onto the hydrant stem. A forked rod extending outwardly on one end from a donut shaped member engages the apertures in the butterfly wings to lock the stem while the other elongated end of the rod extends outwardly from the donut on the opposite side thereof. A cap is mounted over the elongated portion of the rod and threaded onto a hydrant opening while spring loaded pins inside the cap are in an open position. When the cap is screwed onto the threads of the fire hydrant, a uniquely shaped wrench can be removed and the pins would be depressed and locked onto the rod. The cap is locked in place and cannot be removed unless the pins are squeezed with the unique wrench until they are in an open position. The stem will be prevented from turning unless the cap and fork are removed. This deters unauthorized use of the hydrant.
Accordingly, an object of this invention is to provide a new and improved locking system for fire hydrants.
Another object of this invention is to provide a new and improved design to lock the stem and cap of a fire hydrant to prevent unauthorized use.
A further object of this invention is to provide a new and improved fire hydrant locking device and a unique wrench which is used in conjunction therewith.
A still further object of this invention is to provide a new and improved locking system for fire hydrants which is readily adaptable to existing hydrants, inexpensive and readily locked and unlocked.
A more specific object of this invention is to provide a new and improved system which included a butterfly clamp engaged by a forked rod which is locked at the other end by spring loaded pins positioned in the cap and actuated by a wrench having a circular periphery and an aperture having inwardly projecting pins.
The above and other objects and advantages of this invention may be more clearly seen when viewed in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of the invention shown in connection with a fire hydrant;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged view of the hydrant stem and clamp with butterfly wings mounted thereon;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the forked rod and donut;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the unique wrench used in conjunction with the invention; and,
FIG. 5 is a bottom view of the cap.
Referring now to the drawings and particularly FIG. 1, a conventional fire hydrant 10 is shown. Since such fire hydrants and their operation are well-known, the hydrant 10 will not be described in detail. The hydrant 10 includes a stem 11 for actuating the flow of water from the hydrant 10 through outlets 12a-c. The main outlet 12a projects outwardly from the substantially cylindrical hydrant body 13 and includes a threaded outer periphery 14a. The outlets 12a-c are normally covered by caps 15a-c which engage the external threads 14a-c.
As shown in FIG. 2, a clamp 20 includes mating members 25a and 25b mounted together and forming butterfly wings 16a, 16b extending outwardly on both sides of an intermediate aperture 17. The stem 11 extends axially within the clamp aperture 17 and is locked in place by the clamp 20. A forked rod 18, shown in FIG. 3, is provided having legs 19a and 19b, an intermediate donut or flange member 21 and an outwardly extending elongated rod portion 22 which extends through donut 21 and includes intermediate recesses 23 and a notch 40. Each wing 16a, 16b includes an aperture 44a, 44b, respectively, which is engaged by the legs 19a, 19b of the forked rod 18 for purposes of locking the stem 11.
The rod portion 22 engages a tubular recess 24 in the cap 15a where it is gripped by inwardly extending curved pins 26, 27, 28 projecting through the tubular recess 24 to engage intermediate recesses 23. The pins 26-28 project outwardly through the cap 15a at their other end and include springs 29a-c mounted thereabout within the particular cap 15a-c. The pins 26-28 project outwardly through the cap 16a to be engaged by the wrench 20 shown in FIG. 4.
The uniquely curved pins include flange members 33a-c and 34a-c with the springs 29a-c mounted about the pins 26, 27, 28 to engage the respective flange members 33a-34a, 33b-34b and 33c-34c. Supports 35a-35c are mounted to the cylindrical wall 36 of the tubular recess 24 to engage the pins 26, 27 and 28, respectively.
The wrench 30, shown in FIG. 4 includes a circular head 37 with aperture 38 having inwardly projecting tapered pins 31a-c to engage the projecting pins 26-28 in the cap 15a. A curved handle 39 is also mounted to the head 30 and includes a substantially U-shaped member 41 which braces the handle portion 42 against the main portion 43.
The cap 15a cannot be removed from the hydrant 10 unless the pins 26-28 are squeezed inwardly by the wrench 30 until they are in an open position. The stem 11 cannot be turned unless the cap 15a and fork 18 are removed by authorized personnel. To operate or unlock the fire hydrant 10, the wrench 30 is placed over the cap 15a and the pins 26-28 depressed by corresponding inward projections 31a-c on the inner circumference of the wrench aperture 38 to unlock the cap 15a. The cap 15a is then unthreaded and the donut 21 and forked rod 18 removed from the butterfly apertures to unlock the stem. The stem 11 may then be rotated conventionally to actuate the hydrant 12. After hydrant use, the locking system may be readily reinstalled.
While the invention has been explained by a detailed description of certain specific embodiments, it is understood that various modifications and substitutions can be made in any of them within the scope of the appended claims which are intended also to include equivalents of such embodiments.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US468781 *||Aug 8, 1890||Feb 16, 1892||brentano|
|US468782 *||Feb 16, 1892||brentano|
|US3456463 *||Feb 7, 1968||Jul 22, 1969||Lock Cap Corp||Fire hydrant cap and key|
|US3914966 *||Mar 5, 1973||Oct 28, 1975||Bello Louis||Protection device and tool for fire hydrant|
|US3929152 *||Jul 10, 1974||Dec 30, 1975||Gerald A Graham||Fire hydrant cap and actuating tool therefor|
|US4033372 *||Jun 16, 1976||Jul 5, 1977||Bowman Harold M||Fire hydrant locking device|
|US4182361 *||Oct 17, 1977||Jan 8, 1980||Hydra-Guard Corporation||Fire hydrant protection device|
|US4280525 *||Apr 18, 1979||Jul 28, 1981||Center Compression Lock Company, Inc.||Tamperproof cap assembly for hydrant|
|US4379469 *||Dec 30, 1981||Apr 12, 1983||Britz Arne J||Fire hydrant cap with recessed valve|
|US4526193 *||Aug 22, 1984||Jul 2, 1985||Edward Drach||Security cap assembly and actuator|
|US4602654 *||Sep 4, 1985||Jul 29, 1986||Hydra-Shield Manufacturing Co.||Coupling for fire hydrant-fire hose connection|
|US4651771 *||Jul 7, 1986||Mar 24, 1987||Borenstein Daniel W||Hydrant protective cap and cover structure and operating wrench therefor|
|US5033501 *||Dec 4, 1990||Jul 23, 1991||Hydra-Shield Manufacturing, Inc.||Fire hydrant cap and actuating tool therefor|
|US5072750 *||Jul 5, 1990||Dec 17, 1991||Ariah Poms||Fire hydrant closures|
|US5383495 *||Jun 21, 1993||Jan 24, 1995||Penn Troy Machine Co., Inc.||Stainless steel security cap for fire hydrants|
|US5469724 *||Jan 12, 1994||Nov 28, 1995||Pollard; Jerry K.||Fire hydrant locking device|
|US5520210 *||Sep 11, 1995||May 28, 1996||Barton; James M.||Protective shield for fire hydrant|
|US5549133 *||Dec 23, 1994||Aug 27, 1996||Sigelakis; George||Security device and system for preventing unauthorized access to and operation of fire hydrants|
|US5588460 *||Jul 24, 1995||Dec 31, 1996||Meneses; Aaron B.||Fire hydrant valve guide with locking sleeve and wrench therefor|
|US5722450 *||Mar 20, 1997||Mar 3, 1998||Mcgard, Inc.||Tamper resistant construction for hydrant|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US6354116 *||Apr 13, 2000||Mar 12, 2002||Robert R. Drake||Valve cover for preventing unauthorized tampering with a valve|
|US6463953 *||Dec 7, 2001||Oct 15, 2002||Joseph Cuzzo||Fire hydrant protection device|
|US6553795 *||Aug 30, 2000||Apr 29, 2003||Knox Company||Locking cover plate arrangement|
|US6688326 *||Jun 29, 2002||Feb 10, 2004||George Sigelakis||Locking fire hydrant|
|US6901950 *||Jun 8, 2004||Jun 7, 2005||James E. Burt||Fire hydrant locking device|
|US6907760||Dec 23, 2003||Jun 21, 2005||Knox Company||Locking cover plate arrangement|
|US7140212||Jun 14, 2005||Nov 28, 2006||The Knox Company||Locking cover plate arrangement|
|US7437901||Feb 27, 2004||Oct 21, 2008||Knox Company||Locking cap system|
|US7523963||Aug 31, 2007||Apr 28, 2009||Draper Garry D||Split ring assembly to lock a cam pipe coupling|
|US7797972 *||Sep 21, 2010||Flow Security Systems, Inc.||Secure fire hydrant cap|
|US8276608||Jan 9, 2008||Oct 2, 2012||Bertrand Vasconi||Device for securing the valves of fire posts using the control tube|
|US8683831 *||Nov 28, 2006||Apr 1, 2014||The Knox Company||Locking cover plate arrangement|
|US8967184||Jan 11, 2013||Mar 3, 2015||Sigelock Systems, L.L.C.||Locking fire hydrant|
|US8991434||Sep 13, 2007||Mar 31, 2015||The Knox Company||Locking cap system|
|US9103101||Jan 29, 2014||Aug 11, 2015||Sigelock Systems, L.L.C.||Fire hydrant control valve|
|US9108076||Jun 17, 2011||Aug 18, 2015||Sigelock Systems, L.L.C.||Fire hydrant locking sprinkler cap, hydrant valve seals and lubrication access|
|US9341299||Sep 26, 2014||May 17, 2016||Knox Associates, Inc.||Locking cap system|
|US20040134246 *||Dec 23, 2003||Jul 15, 2004||Trempala Dohn J.||Locking cover plate arrangement|
|US20040168488 *||Feb 27, 2004||Sep 2, 2004||Trempala Dohn J.||Locking cap system|
|US20050229660 *||Jun 14, 2005||Oct 20, 2005||Trempala Dohn J||Locking cover plate arrangement|
|US20070277567 *||Nov 28, 2006||Dec 6, 2007||Trempala Dohn J||Locking cover plate arrangement|
|US20080054637 *||Aug 31, 2007||Mar 6, 2008||Draper Garry D||Split ring assembly to lock a cam pipe coupling|
|US20080127688 *||May 8, 2007||Jun 5, 2008||Flow Security Systems, Inc.||Security device for a threaded element|
|US20080209963 *||Sep 13, 2007||Sep 4, 2008||Trempala Dohn J||Locking cap system|
|US20100065133 *||Jan 9, 2008||Mar 18, 2010||Bertrand Vasconi||Device for securing the valves of fire posts using the control tube|
|US20100307609 *||Dec 9, 2010||Burt James E||Fire Hydrant Anti-Tamper System|
|WO2008099103A2 *||Jan 9, 2008||Aug 21, 2008||Bertrand Vasconi||Device for securing fire hydrant connections using the control pipe|
|WO2008099103A3 *||Jan 9, 2008||Nov 6, 2008||Bertrand Vasconi||Device for securing fire hydrant connections using the control pipe|
|U.S. Classification||137/296, 137/382, 220/725, 220/726, 70/178, 220/284, 137/800|
|International Classification||F16K35/06, E03B9/06, F16K35/10|
|Cooperative Classification||E03B9/06, Y10T137/9247, F16K35/06, Y10T137/5468, F16K35/10, Y10T137/7062, Y10T70/5628|
|European Classification||E03B9/06, F16K35/10, F16K35/06|
|Mar 24, 2004||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Sep 7, 2004||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Nov 2, 2004||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20040905